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Ottawa, Mar 20 (Canadian-Media): Canada set a new national Paralympic record with 28 medals in Pyeongchang, South Korea on the last day of the Winter Games on Mar 18 beating the previous record of 19 from the 2010 Games in Vancouver. B.C., media reports said.
Para nordic star Mark Arendz carried Canada's flag into the closing ceremony of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as the Canadian contingent celebrated its best-ever Winter Paralympics performance by earning eight gold, four silver and 16 bronze in South Korea.
Mark Arendz/Facebook page
Arendz won five individual medals in as many events at the Games and added a cross-country mixed relay silver for his sixth in Pyeongchang.
In his closing remarks, International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons paid tribute to Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned theoretical physicist who died on March 14 and was involved in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Games in London.
"You have once again pushed the limits of human endeavour," Parsons was reported to say to the athletes.
The ceremony acted as a transition to the next Winter Paralympics in Beijing in 2022.
The Paralympic flag inside Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium was lowered and handed over to Beijing mayor Chen Jining, marking the official start of the countdown to the next Winter Games.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
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Toronto/South Korea, Mar 13 (Canadian-Media): Brian McKeever, from Canada on the World Cup circuit at PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in the men's 20-kilometre cross-country ski freestyle race, won gold medal on Sunday, alongside guides Graham Nishikawa and Russell Kennedy, media reports said.
Brian McKeever/Facebook page
One of the older athletes at age 38, McKeever battled against men nearly 20 years his junior, and claimed 14th gold medal in his career, making him Canada's most decorated Winter Paralympian
It was between 1980 and 1994 that the late Lana Spreeman reportedly had won 13 medals in para-alpine skiing.
Twenty years after learning he was losing his eyesight, the Canmore, Alberta based McKeever never lost a step.
"The last lap was very hard," McKeever was reported to state. "I was hurting at the end."
Someone yelled on the final stretch, "Brian, you're a minute ahead." And it was true.
McKeever's gold medal in the men's visually impaired 20 km cross-country skiing event gave him 14 Paralympic medals, the most in Canadian history.
His Paralympic resume reportedly included 11 gold, two silver and one bronze, with more chances for medals to come in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
"These guys did a great job of towing me today," McKeever was reported to say after the race. "They took care of me the whole way."
When McKeever was 18 years old he was heart broken to learn that he had Stargardt disease which reportedly had already been wrecking his central vision.
He was reported to say that he could see the doughnut but not the hole.
McKeever was already an accomplished skier at the time and he picked up his spirits by following a new path and switched over to the Canadian Paralympic program.
At age 30, his coach decided to leave him on the sidelines for the men's 50-km race at the 2010 Vancouver Games, B.C.
McKeever was again sad as he felt his dream of racing at both the Olympics and Paralympics being crumbled.
Although dejected, he reportedly once more picked up courage and was able to win three Paralympic gold medals on the Whistler course in Vancouver games.
Four years later, he had to join men's visually impaired one-kilometre race in Sochi with two Russians and one Swede, but McKeever was able to win gold medal there also.
"I always wanted to be part of it," he reportedly told CBC Sports before arriving in Pyeongchang. "Having an older brother [Robin] who went to the Olympics in 1998 in Nagano was just another step along the way. Little brother always wants to be like big brother.
"I followed a career path similar to his and then I lost my eyesight.… I realized I could have a career in this sport anyways. That's all I ever wanted to do. I wanted to be a skier."
CBC Sports had tweeted, 'Relentless. History maker. Brian McKeever, 14-time Paralympic medallist ... and big Shawshank Redemption.'
McKeever's vision got worse with his advancing age and he was reported to say that this could be his final Paralympic Games.
But McKeever's golden performance Sunday, according to reports, leads one to believe that he would return for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, China.
"I don't know about that," said Nishikawa, 34. "We still have a really busy week ahead of us. But with Brian, nothing would surprise me. It's amazing to be around someone so great at something. Every year, he brings something more. He's just relentless.
"I'm in awe even just hanging out with the guy."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
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Toronto, Mar 8 (Canadian-Media): Toronto Mayor John Tory and other members of Toronto City Council will join Rem Langan, a member of the Canadian Paralympic Committee's board of directors, and Canadian Paralympic medallists at Toronto City Hall this afternoon (Toronto time) for flag raising ceremony of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, media reports said.
This ceremonial event will mark the opening of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
It also demonstrates support for the Canadian athletes competing in PyeongChang, South Korea, a sovereign state in East Asia constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula.
Officially known as the XII Paralympic Winter Games, 2018 Winter Paralympics, an international winter sports athletic event for athletes with disabilities. is being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea,
Flag raising ceremony would reportedly take place on the podium roof which and will be moved to the Queen Street flagpole on Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto on March 9.
Tory would reportedly proclaim, during the flag rising ceremony, March 9, 2018 as Paralympic Winter Games Day in Toronto.
The flag will reportedly fly on the Queen Street flagpole until end of PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games on March 18.
The 2018 emblem reportedly symbolizes a world which embraces one and all.
The emblem combines the image of ice and snow, winter sports stars (athletes), and people from all over the world, coming together in PyeongChang where heaven meets earth.
PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games/Facebook
All five disciplines: Para alpine, Para ice hockey, Para nordic (cross-country and biathlon), Para snowboarding and wheelchair curling would be represented by approximately fifty five Canadian athletes, the largest Canadian athlete delegation to compete at the Paralympic Winter Games.
Ontario would be represented by nineteen athletes, and Erin Latimer (para alpine) and Greg Westlake (para ice hockey) would be from Toronto.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)